Taking Photos on My Walk

Most days I take a walk around my neighborhood. Usually, I do not take my phone so no photos. However, earlier this week after seeing some lovely flowers and sights, I decided to take the phone so I could take some photos. Here is what I found along the way.

This is the back of the Taiwanese Buddhist Center near my house.

Poppies growing wild near the sidewalk.

Flowers near the poppies.

Southern California is bougainvillea heaven.

A lot of these colorful trees everywhere–a type of tree I always associated with way farther east not here.

Succulents and agaves do well here.

So many kinds of trees grow here including all types of eucalyptus which many consider invasive and also a potential fire hazard.

Referred to as freeway daisies because all colors can be found everywhere and all times of year.

This is also rosemary heaven and everywhere the rosemary is in full bloom.

Walking Among the Flowers

After feeding the horses, completing chores, a late afternoon walk to look for the last of the wild flowers took my fancy.  Here in the canyon country of the Panhandle of Texas, the majority of wildflowers are three colors:  yellow, white, purple.


Butterflies feeding in the gay feather.


At first I thought this might be bitterweed but now, not sure.


Although this one and the last one may resemble each other, they are different.


Looked up, the sun decided to shine–at my place four inches of rain in the last week and more than seven inches ahead of normal.


Black foot daisies and prairie zinnias bloom from early spring almost until frost.



Athena among the flowers.


Prickly pear can grow almost anywhere.


I almost missed this one hidden among the grass.

Walking in the Wild–Part One

Toward evening after it had cooled down from the mid 90s, I decided it would be a good time to practice with the camera on this iPAD mini.  Because of all the rain, everything looks like desert plants in Ireland.  I am still learning to type and blog on this tiny keyboard and trying how to space the photos on the iPAD.  I must figure it out if I want to post from Dubai and Ethiopia next week.  I will not be able to do what I did a couple of days ago when I went to the iMAC and fixed it.

The following photos were taken on my stroll.  I know most of the wildflowers:  blackfoot daisies, winecups, chocolate flowers, sundrops, plains zinnia, several kinds of native grasses, milkweed, at least two kinds of prickly pear cactus.  If I can get the photos to space as I want, I will identify what I know as I go.



The flowers near my front door.  The flowers below are blackfoot daisies and I think winecups.   You will see a lot of blackfoot daisies in these  photos..




The flowers in the photo below are desert (sometimes called Mexican) birds of paradise, catmint, and lavender, none of which are native, but grow well here.







More Mexican birds of paradise, butterfly bushes and red yucca.




Plains daisies and they usually grow in clumps over a wider area as in the photo below, but this little one decided to grow in the middle of the drive and I do not have the heart to destroy it.







Blackfoot daisies and sundrops growing next to a yucca plant.




Rosie getting fatter and fatter on all the grass.




One of my favorite wild flowers, globe mallow.  They are tiny but such a glorious, bright color.




A field of globe mallow and plains zinnia.




Star’s gravesite.  I planted the desert willow, but all the wild flowers are filling in by themselves.  I actually tried planting some flowers here, but the bunnies ate them.




Two weeks ago, I had almost decided to cut this tree down because it appeared totally dead.  I tried to break off a twig, but it only bent, indicating it was still alive.  I thought to my self it might recover if it rained soon enough.  And it did–not quite up to its form a year ago, but vastly improved.

More photos from walking in the wild tomorrow.  Because I live where I do, I cannot get the speediest Internet and it is very, very slow going tonight.

Getting rid of junk mail

The amount of junk mail seems to endlessly increase.  Once recycling ceased here for all practical purposes, I became a bit distressed and somewhat obsessed about what to do with all this useless paper.  It took me more time than I planned to discover where and how (hopefully) to at least get rid of some of this useless mail.  Now that I have done all this opting out, they claim I may have to wait several months before the junk mail quits showing up.  I will let you know what happens.

In the meantime if you want to try this for yourself and you live in the US here are some options:

-To remove your name from all catalog mailing lists, email optout@abacus-us.com and give them your name and mailing information.  You will receive a return email explaining that this will opt you out of all catalogs.

-To remove your name from only certain catalogs you do not want to receive, go to catalogchoice.org.  You will have to create an account and can unsubscribe to those catalogs you specifically do not want to receive.

-To opt out of other types of junk mail, you go to http://www.dmachoice.org.  They provide various choices for different types of junk mail you wish to quit receiving.

After doing all this, I decided to take a little hike in the new land of green in which I reside.  I discovered a tree, which I thought the drought killed, slowly leafing out–a rather strange sight in June.  Usually, this occurs a month to six weeks before.  Black foot daisies are blooming everywhere, their small snowy faces showing up boldly in the emerald grass sea.  When I opened the gate to let Rosie out to graze–finally there is enough grass to let her out, she ran and ran and ran and bucked.  Nothing is more glorious than a happy, running horse.  The prickly pear are near the bloom stage and some other cacti are starting to bud magenta blossoms.  When they come out, I will take photos to share.






Rosie–photo taken by my friend, the photographer, Anabel McMillen.

Photos from a late spring evening

After completing the horse chores, I decided to take a walk and photograph the new green.  This time two weeks ago, everything except the juniper trees was brown and dry.  Some of the native bushes had not even shown their usual spring leaves.  Many plants in arid and semi-arid environments lie dormant until the rains come.  Five inches in five days transformed the landscape here.  And it brought out hordes of mosquitoes, but that’s another story.


A wildflower, sundrops, a type of primrose, grows in even dry hard soil as you can see here.


A few sundrops had even come out before the rain, but many more are visible now.


Hard to believe the sudden greenness.  What a difference water makes.


Three species of juniper grow where I live.  Some people have told me these trees are hundreds of years old.



Looking across the canyon from my house I see various cavelike places such as the one here.  Great places for the foxes, coyotes, and bobcats to live.


Blackfoot daisies, tough, drought tolerant, enduring, a favorite because they grow everywhere and anywhere all summer.  When they appear among flowers and bushes I have actually planted, I just leave them there.  They provide a kind of perky joy.


Green everywhere and they predict thunderstorms for the next several days.  At 100 degrees today, the green would not last long without more rain.


These little red spots appeared in clusters here and there everywhere as I strolled around.  I think they are the beginnings of a plant but I have no idea what.


Both lavender and catmint do well here.  In the background last year thyme spread everywhere, but for the first time in several years, it died out over the winter.


Mexican bird of paradise, also called desert bird of paradise, is one of my favorites.  This is just the beginning of a truly spectacular bloom.


In the background Greek oregano grows.  Along my rock retaining wall Mediterranean plants seem to grow well.


Blackfoot daisies growing in native grass.  All this was brown except for the daisies two weeks ago.


Most of the flowers which do well here or are wild seem to be purple or yellow.  Salvia does well, but it is barely in bloom.


A type of dalea, this very drought tolerant shrub grows everywhere wild around my place.  If there is no rain, it does nothing and looks dead.


This is another plant that looked dead two weeks ago and then suddenly a couple of day ago came out in full bloom.  I have looked through two wildflower books and still remain uncertain as to the name of this plant.  If some reader out there knows, please email me the name or comment on this post.

Living here on the rim of wonder gives me great joy.